BILLINGS - Students and staff at Newman Elementary are turning the horrible loss of loved ones into a strong show of positive support.
First there was a fire that left two students without a mother, and four more without a cousin or aunt. Then, according to Newman Elementary School Principal Travis Niemeyer, the community received word about the tragic death of a beloved teacher.
"Mr. McBride was a great teacher. A lot of kids loved him, all of our staff loved him," says Niemeyer.
The shocking news leaves the students and staff of Newman Elementary at a loss.
"It's been a rough week. Last week at the very end for quite a few of our kids. And then of course adding on the incident this weekend of Mr. McBride has just made the last three or four days a really rough go," says Niemeyer.
Although the school has experienced a week of despair, they're turning it around with positivity, with the help of Billings Crisis Response Team Member Evey LaMont.
"Help them understand what grief is about and how hard it can be, but how we're all in it together, we're going to help each other move forward," says LaMont.
Students are dealing with the loss by writing down positive memories of Mr. McBride and displaying them on the board in front of his classroom.
"It's helping the kids do something active during the healing process."
Students will also write letters to Mr. McBride's family as a show of support.